I’ve said it before but I get to see so much of the fun at Amara’s school by volunteering. One good adventure often leads to another. It all started back in April at Open House and Book Fair. The Book Fair ran all that week for the students and they always have it open during Open House to give the parents a chance to shop, too.
Since the hours are from 5 to 7 PM, the PTA had the brilliant idea of selling food at the Open House so that the teachers could grab a quick bite and so could parents coming straight from work. The theme was Book Fair Fiesta so having tacos sounded perfect. They hired someone to come in with a grill to cook them to order but they needed volunteers to sell the taco plates and drinks. Volunteers were hard to find as parents wanted to go to the classroom and for some of them multiple classrooms to meet with their children’s teachers. I am glad Jenna talked me into helping. I worked with my Grandma friend that I sell fruit pops with for the PTA. That is how I found out about the Gold Rush! She took time to go to her grandson’s classroom who is in Amara’s class. She came back and told me I had to go to the classroom and volunteer to help. OK! I volunteered and so did Jenna and Justin.
Amara’s teacher had done this event for the last 3 years. The class has been studying the Gold Rush and this would be the culmination. They would dress in cowboy attire and the volunteers, that would be us, would handle the rest. The volunteers dressed country style, too. (I love Goodwill!) The students/scholars would be split into groups of 6 or 7 and move to the different activities. Let me tell you about them – it was so fun!
They had a Country Kitchen where two moms helped them to make corn tortillas! They had the mesa prepared in advance, all of the students wore gloves, and they flipped tortillas onto a pancake griddle. I had one of them and it really hit the spot, as I forgot to eat before I left the house.
Jenna and Justin were in charge of the arm wrestling and wheelbarrow races; not the kind you do with a wheelbarrow but the kind with two people. Some of those 4th grade girls are very strong when it comes to arm wrestling but the funniest part was when I saw them wheeling 6’4″ Mr. Justin down the racecourse! There were five students holding his legs up! I wish I had photos but I didn’t take my camera because I knew I wouldn’t have time to take pictures.
My Grandma friend that told me to volunteer helped the students learn to lasso! They had a bale of hay with a hobbyhorse stuck in it for them to aim for.
Another mom was taking their “Wanted” photos. Amara’s teacher had a big cardboard cutout from before that made the students look like they were outlaws. They had fun posing with their fake mustaches.
And what would a Gold Rush Day be if you didn’t pan for gold? One of the Mom’s had filled a small pool with water and sand and then “salted” it with gold! They learned how to pan and had little burlap bags to put their gold nuggets into.
Because they needed that gold to shop at the General Store! Two moms weighed out the gold nuggets and told each student how much money they had to spend. The General Store was set up so cute with kerchiefs and hay decorating the table laden with bowls of candy, pencils, sheriff’s badges, pencil boxes and all sorts of goodies they could purchase!
I had suggested we teach them to square dance or line dance – figured it would burn off some energy and it had never been done before. I went home, did some research, and decided we definitely had to teach them line dancing as square dancing wasn’t going to work. 4th graders don’t want to do anything that involves couples! Since line dancing didn’t come along until 1970 I had to find a way to tie it all together. So before we started dancing, we talked about square dancing, which was more likely the type of dancing the original miners did. We talked about the gold resurgence that has been happening since 2010 and they were shocked that gold is now worth $1300-$1400 an ounce. Line dancing is much more likely the dance that these new miners did so I taught them the Cupid Shuffle. I had found a video on YouTube. Where would I be without YouTube? Since I had them in very small groups, they were easy and fun to teach. Some got into it more than others but I think all of them had fun.
After all of the students had visited all of the stations they were served lunch! Some of the volunteers had gotten different places to donate the food! The students dined on fried chicken, rice, beans, fresh tortillas, and lots of fresh cut fruits. One student said it best,
This isn’t just lunch it is a full meal.
For me the best part was when two of the girls came back after lunch and asked if they could dance some more! I turned the music back on and within minutes, there were 12 – 15 students lined up and dancing! They had to make two rows!
UPDATE: I thought that was the best part until later that evening I got a text from one of the mom’s that her daughter was teaching her little sister and the girl next door my dance.
THAT was the best part!
I am so glad I volunteer and that Amara goes to such a great school!